Apparently, the Panthers felt disrespected by some comments Matt Ryan made the last time these two teams met. Greg Hardy of the Panthers even went as far as to say his team was better than Atlanta. That may have been true last Sunday but the fact remains Carolina is still only 4-9, and they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs. If anything is up for discussion it is which is worse: losing to Kansas City or losing to the team who lost to Kansas City?
On a more serious note, because Carolina is a non-factor in the playoff picture, Atlanta has some serious issues to address before the regular season ends. While they are 11-2, they struggle against teams who are more physical than them. Remember how ugly that game was with the Arizona Cardinals? Whatever happened to the Dirty Birds anyway?
Atlanta also struggles with the run on both sides of the ball. Atlanta has also become prone to turning the ball over. The irony is Atlanta’s turnover problem could be fixed if they could effectively run the ball. Falcons’ fans clamored for more deeps balls and they have gotten them, but the consequence has been a weak running game and more interceptions from Matt Ryan.
As the season wears on, they are starting to look more and more like the team who was blown out at home by the New York Giants in the playoffs last year, with a better offense. Atlanta is quite capable of not only winning a playoff game this season, but making a run at the Super Bowl as well. However, none of that will happen if they continue to play as they have of late. In spite of their recent play and loss, the Falcons still did not get blown out like the Houston Texans did against the New England Patriots.